The snow might look pretty, but it can create hazardous conditions on the road, such as black ice and flying snow from other cars and trucks. With temperatures in the single digits, it is important to stay alert behind the wheel and drive cautiously.
Freezing weather can cause hazardous driving conditions. Even if precipitation doesn’t fall, roads can turn icy. This condition is called black ice.
Black ice fools drivers. Its shine tricks them into thinking its’ water on the road. What they may not realize is that condensation, such as dew, freezes when temperatures reach 32 degrees or below. This forms an extra-thin layer of ice on the road.
This shiny ice surface is one of the most slippery road conditions. Black ice is likely to form first under bridges and overpasses, in shady spots and at intersections.
Driving conservatively, keeping plenty of space between cars and allowing for longer stopping distances will help keep you driving straight on slick roads. But if your car begins to spin out of control, here’s what you should do:
When you begin to skid, take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, quickly. Then steer in the direction you want your car to go. Before the rear wheels stop skidding, shift to drive and gently press the accelerator. Do not slam on the brakes.
Driving is always tricky in the snow. But once the storm has passed, there may be another danger: flying snow from trucks and cars.
Drivers are reminded to remove all snow off their vehicles, including the top of cars and over license plates.
Snow on top of moving vehicles can be dangerous. If the snow is warmed by the vehicle, it will begin to melt. Wind and motion can cause sections to break off and hit other vehicles.
Drive cautiously, even if a storm has moved on. To avoid hazards such as flying snow, keep your distance from vehicles in front of you.